By Olly MacNamee
With less than a fortnight to go until this Kickstarter campaign draws to an end, there isn't much time left to check out this original B&W horror title from writer/artist Luke Cooper, aiming to go to print as both a hardback and softback graphic novel if successfully funded. Hollow Girl is ready to roll, written, drawn, lettered, the full nine-yards. If you are a fan of horror, then you may very well like this book from Luke Cooper.
Presented unashamedly as a love letter to the elements of horror Cooper clearly loves the most, 'girls, goons and gunplay and a revenge story', what started off as a short one-off comic strip soon became the idea for a graphic novel with a central conceit that offers the potential in its eponymous titular 'hero' for more adventures in Murderland should this find its audience. I think it can, given what Cooper has created here. And, thanks to a pdf advance copy (see, I told you it was 'in the can') you too can get a sniff of what Hollow Girl has to offer you as a reader, on top of the pledge rewards that range from a pdf copy of the book for a fiver, to appearing in a special bonus full page pin-up included in the hardback edition's bonus material, facing off with Hollow Girl herself. For this, you will also receive the original art too, with an art style very reminiscent of a younger Kevin Maguire. I can only see Cooper's art developing in the same vein too, so this could very well be a great present for yourself, or a comic reading loved one you may know. But, you may want to consider this sooner rather than later, given there are only 4 spots available for this premium package pledge.
For more on the different pledge rewards go look at the Hollow Girl Kickstarter campaign page now by clicking here. For a review of the book, read on.
Meet Katherine Harlow, a girl all grown up and ready to kill, having already committed parricide on her own parents as a young girl, with no explanation and no motivation. Six years of helpless psychiatric monitoring and evaluation later and a more mature Harlow is ready to meet the world once more, but on her terms and behind her signature blank faced mask not too dissimilar to that sported by an equally disturbed youngster, Michael Myers from Halloween. But, Harlow is not the only one driving the car, and it is revealed that she may very well be hearing voices inside her head. And, given that this is very much in the genre of horror, one could well guess that this voice is not necessarily Harlow's mind playing tricks on her, but some supernatural force affected her in some way. But, that would be telling.
What we are delivered is an action-drenched revenge-seeking agent seemingly with no moral compass or soul, but with a taste for death, as we are flung straight into the bloody action from page one, as the Hollow Girl is picked up in the black of night by thuggish yobs ready to use and abuse her for their own nefarious pleasures only to find a girl ready to fight back, and fight back with bullets as emotionlessly as her blank faced mask would imply. But then, is Harlow the psychotically inclined young woman still driving the bus?
As more of her earlier life is revealed through flashbacks, that gives the reader some relief to the relentless, unstoppable force that is the Hollow Girl, we get to not so much understand why the young Harlow did what she did – feeling nothing in the moment of killing her parents, she confesses blankly to her doctor – but rather, understand her current raison d'etre.
What we are given in Harlow is a femme fatale to stand side-by-side with some of horror's creepiest slashers. A female force that may have done one of the worst things imaginable in life, but who in adult life seems to have found a calling, albeit a calling that makes use of her one recognizable skill; killing. But, as the devil has all the best tunes, it is true to say that slashers have the best lines and it these demonic dudes that we are drawn to as fans. Now, there is a new girl on the block ready to stand up and be counted and she means business. Hopefully, her business will be here to stay and not gone tomorrow. But then, only you can decide that.
Olly MacNamee teaches English and Media, for his sins, in a school somewhere in Birmingham. Some days, even he doesn't know where it is. Follow him on twitter @ollymacnamee or read about his exploits at email@example.com. Or don't.